If you have been injured because of a violent crime which falls within the parameters of an act constituting a crime under the Criminal Code, namely wilful homicide, grievous bodily harm with arms proper and other cases of grievous bodily harm, you can apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. It does not matter whether the offender has been caught, but there are other rules which will determine whether or not you receive compensation. The law provides that such compensation will be withheld or reduced if:
(a) the applicant failed to take, without delay, all reasonable steps to inform the police, or other body or person considered by the Claims Officer to be appropriate for the purpose, of the circumstances giving rise to the crime; or
(b) the applicant failed to co-operate with the police or other authority in attempting to bring the assailant to justice; or
(c) the applicant has failed to give all reasonable assistance to the Claims Officer or other body or person in connection with the application; or
(d) the conduct of the applicant before, during or after the incident giving rise to the application makes it inappropriate that a full award or any award at all be made; or
(e) the applicant’s character as shown by his criminal convictions or by evidence available to the Claims Officer makes it inappropriate that a full award or any award at all be made; or
(f) the victim was jointly or partially responsible for the criminal injury sustained; or
(g) the conduct of the victim, his character or his way of life, makes it appropriate to do so.
The law also provides for situations where no compensation is given and this is where:
(a) the criminal injury was sustained before 1st January 2006;
(b) the Claims Officer is of the opinion that the offender is not indigent or unless proof has been produced that legal action to claim compensation has proved to be fruitless;
(c) the applicant has not, in the opinion of the Claims Officer, provided all reasonable assistance and information required for the purposes of these regulations;
(d) the applicant was responsible for the criminal injury sustained because of provocation or any other action of his own;
(e) the Claims Officer is satisfied that the conduct of the victim, his character or his way of life, make it inappropriate that he should be granted an award.
More information, explanations and assistance can be obtained from the Justice Unit situated at 30, Old Treasury Street, Valletta, during normal office hours, where you will find competent officials ready to answer your queries and assist you throughout.
The law itself thought of setting up the role of an 'Assisting Officer' precisely to assist in the filling up and receipt of applications and to assist in their evaluation. All applications are to be submitted to the Assisting Officer to be forwarded to the Claims Officer who shall determine awards and payments of compensation. Applications are to be submitted within a reasonable period of time and in any case not later than one year from when the violent intentional crime was committed. All applications must be accompanied by a police report.
The Claims Officer may, at his discretion, request any other additional evidence with the purpose, among other things, to ensure that compensation has not been awarded or will not be awarded from any other source including, if need be, an affidavit by the applicant and may call the applicant to be medically examined or re-examined. Persons entitled to compensation are citizens of Malta and citizens of one of the Member States of the European Union and persons who are habitual residents in Malta.
Where the Criminal Court, by virtue of article 532A of the Criminal Code, has already established the compensation due to the victim(s) of the crime, the Claims Officer will not assess that claim but will proceed to pay compensation subject to the provisions of the Legal Notice.
Compensation will be by way of a lump sum payment, rather than a periodical pension, but it will be open to the Claims Officer to make an interim award and to postpone making a final award in a case in which a final medical assessment of the injury is delayed. No compensation will be payable to an applicant who has not, in the opinion of the Claims Officer, given the Claims Officer all reasonable assistance in relation to any medical report that he may require, and otherwise. Finally, no payment to any claimant shall exceed the sum of 23,300 euros and such sum shall not be exceeded where there is more than one claimant by virtue of the same crime.